Like pretty much anyone my age, I love to shop. How could you not? Most of us have been conditioned to love the feeling of instant gratification, and shopping is no exception. I love the feeling of wearing or using a brand new product. It brings a fresh perspective and shakes up the rest of whatever I own. But unfortunately I, and most of us, don’t have unlimited funds to fuel our desired spending habits. In this world where there are seemingly ten million versions for every one item, it’s essential that we have the skills to determine what’s worth purchasing.
Below I’ve compiled my tips for how you can smartly spend your hard-earned dollars. I employ these on the daily, and I feel they really help me make purchases that I know I’ll have around long-term and weed out anything that I truly don’t need.
1. Do Your Research
We live in an age of consumerism where any piece of information we’ve ever wanted to know is at our fingertips. Take advantage of that and do your research! Learn about what goes into a product, how it’s produced, the brand/company behind it- anything that concerns you or you feel clarity is necessary.
2. Take Others’ Opinions with a Grain of Salt
I think it’s safe to say a majority of us rely on the opinions of various influencers when considering a purchase of any sort. This is helpful to an extent, but shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all. Everyone has different preferences and expectations, so it’s in your best interest to take what others say lightly. This leads into my next point…
3. Test it for Yourself
You’ll truly never know how something works for you unless you put it to the test yourself. If you don’t like it, return it and move on to the next thing. You’ll also never learn what your preferences are and what you really like if you don’t try a variation of different products.
4. Buy Things with the Intention to Use Them Up
This is a huge lesson I’ve had to learn, and I think it’s something all of us can be better at. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve thoughtlessly bought things just because they’re pretty looking, sound like a good idea, or just because. This reckless type of shopping isn’t smart because you lose out on money and just end up with stuff that ends up hanging around becoming a waste.
5. Compare What you Want with Things you Already Have
The more stuff you get, the more it gets pushed to the bottom because you make room for the new stuff. You may not realize that you already having something like it or similar enough where you don’t need the latest release or what you’re considering purchasing. You don’t need three pairs of white jeans no matter how different they seem (this has been my exact reasoning with myself, so I get it).
6. Create and Follow a Budget
This strategy is the most helpful I can give you, and it will make the biggest difference on your bank account. You can find my complete guide on creating a budget coming this week! I get into why it’s so important and how it’s changed my life in that post, but long story short it’s caused me to be super aware of where my money goes. I’m not stingy, but I’ve become more practical and considered the long term affects of my purchasing habits. My savings grows every month, and I’m still able to do the things I want.
7. Read/Leave Reviews on Product Pages
The best place for product information is in its review section. Influencers are great, but if you want to know what the average person who makes an average amount of money thinks, read the reviews. You should still take what they say with a grain of salt to some degree, but I find these reviews are more relatable- something that’s really been missing in the influencer realm. And when you try a product, don’t forget to leave a review so that your fellow consumers know what’s up!
Ultimately the biggest way to support a brand or influencer is with your dollar. All the tweets, videos, and comments won’t change a thing unless sales are impacted. If you don’t support a brand or a product for whatever your reason may be, ignore them and don’t engage. Don’t leave hate, just leave them be. Give your attention to the people, brands, and products that you do love. You’ll be making purchases that you’re satisfied with and suffer from less buyer’s remorse!
Leave a comment down below with your best tip on shopping smart and saving money!